Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

A fighter is someone who fights- with everything and anything she has at her disposal.

Art is a kind of magic. Creativity is mysterious, even to artists, who might be able to name their inspiration but can't always explain how their influences and experiences came together to create this new thing- this painting, this story, this song. If you break art down to its base elements, there's nothing miraculous about the letters of the alphabet or a drop of paint. But an artist can put those elements together to create something powerful, something that moves us and withstands the test of time. A work that no one but that artist could have imagined, let alone created.

Art is magic, and art is powerful. Art saves lives- I really believe that. It gives us courage and compassion we might not have on our own.

As an artist, her imagination isn't fettered by the constraints of reality.

But Clary's a hero at heart- and that means she'll find a way to be the hero she needs to be, to look beyond the skills she doesn't have and draw on the skills she does have to ultimately save the day.

But if home suddenly becomes not like home, what then?

Cities have the capability to at any moment shift out of the familiar, even if you've lived in one all your life.

Even places you know well can take on a touch of the unknown when you arrive there from a different direction.

Every city, every town, hides beneath a certain amount of glamour that- either intentionally or not- can misdirect the eye or hide something worth finding. Learning to see through those glamours is part of the process of calling any place home.

Everyone loves a kick-ass girl. (Well- maybe not her enemies, but you know what I mean.)

I always assume people are hiding parts of themselves from each other. People do that.

If you’ve been reading the Mortal Instruments for any length of time, you know that only two things are certain: Dead doesn’t necessarily mean dead, and you never know whose blood is going to wind up running through your veins.

Love is what matters. Love is the song you hear even while you sleep, and you know you are healed, and safe, and where you belong.

In a city, with all of its enclaves and boundaries, both real and imagined, it is impossible not to feel the presence of those who are not like you and impossible not to feel like an outsider.

I started grasping at moments that weren't misery. Slowly, slowly, I found them.

It's her ability as an artist to see possibility where others see a blank page and, by extension, to see victory where others see certain defeat that truly empowers her...

It's significantly more satisfying to kick a wall than it is to kick thin air. For the rebellious teen- or the teen who wants to feel like a rebel- a clearly defined law gives you something to define yourself against.

No matter how terrifying, they need to decide that the only rules that matter are the ones they write themselves.

Not every girl can be Isabelle Lightwood or Katniss Everdeen. I think the true measure of a hero is what a person does with what they have, how hard they are willing to fight, and how far they are willing to go to set things right.

One of the greatest tragedies of growing up is the discovery that your parents- and your teachers, and your sports heroes, and your favorite actors, singers, YouTube sensations- are fallible. Adults don't know all, and what they do know, they often won't tell you- because they've got their own agendas, or because they want to shield you from the hard truths "for your own good." Adults lie, they betray, they screw up in every way possible...

Places, like people, are complex, and loving them isn't simple.

Popularity gives you power only over people who care about being popular. Ostracism gives you power only over those who fear being ostracized.

See, Jace never learned how to flirt properly, because he was raised by a murderous sociopath.

The beauty of fantasy is that it allows the protagonist to pass through fear to come to know this different reality and to find a place in it.

The only thing more dangerous than a willingness to ignore the Law is an ability to change it.

There are a few things that even sarcasm can't protect you from.

There are more hidden spaces in a city, more hidden lives and hidden emptinesses, and more darkened windows where shadow people pass fleetingly in and out of sight.

There is the world you know, the world you have always known; and then you blink, and there is a place you never had any inkling of, and it spreads out across your eyescape. And then, most shockingly of all: there is the realization that these two places are one and the same. It turns out you never really knew the world around you at all. This is often the moment at which adventure begins.

We live vicariously through stories, because our own lives provide so few opportunities for high-stakes adventure and noble sacrifice.

You have to look at a thing long enough for it to really show itself to you...